Beggar My Neighbour


Beggar My Neighbour is one of the all-time favourite children's card games. It is an exciting game of luck, best played to a time limit (because otherwise, believe me, it can get tedious!) The rules are below:

Instructions for "Beggar My Neighbour" card game for kids

Number of Players:

Age Range:


For two or three players, one standard deck of cards can be used. Any more than three players will require two decks.


All the cards are dealt, one by one, around the group, until there are none left. It does not matter if some players have more cards than others. Each player collects his cards in a face-down pile and does not look at them.

To start, the person to the left of the dealer places his top card face-up in the centre. Then the game moves around clockwise, with each player adding one card to the central pile until someone turns up an Ace, Knave, Queen or King. The player who turns up one of these cards can then demand payment from the next player:

An ace earns four cards
A King earns three cards
A Queen earns two cards
A Knave earns one card

These payment cards are each placed on the central pile. If an Ace, King, Queen or Knave is turned up, then the next player to the left has to pay the required amount of cards, and so on. This continues until a payment is complete without Aces or Court Cards. Then, the last player who turned up an Ace or Court Card takes the whole central pile and puts it at the bottom of his own. He starts the next round, and the game begins again.

The winner is the player who first goes out by using up all his cards. If playing to a time limit, then the winner is the player with the least remaining cards when the time runs out.

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